Because of the corona measures, the ceremony took place online. Boerenbusiness awards the price annually to an innovation that has a clear added value for the profitability of an agricultural business. The Lely Sphere certainly has that potential, says the jury in its report: "This innovation does not only improve the environmental performance of dairy farms, but can also ensure that dairy farmers can retain their 'license to produce' and improve their business returns.”
Lely Sphere tackles the separation of manure and urine at the dairy farm at source. By slightly modifying the slatted floor in the dairy cow barn and extracting the air from the manure pit, the Sphere converts the ammonia in the extracted air into a liquid fertiliser through a filter. The dairy farmer can apply this to the land and thus save on the purchase of artificial fertiliser. In doing so, mineral cycles are closed, which also makes the Sphere a circular solution.
"Lely responds so effectively to social and political wishes, which deserves broad acceptance", according to the jury. After all, an innovation like the Lely Sphere can help reduce nitrogen emissions from the Dutch dairy business a lot cheaper than political measures such as forced reduction of dairy farms. Lely has calculated that an invention like the Sphere is no less than 7.5 times cheaper per kilogram of ammonia saved. "Don't shrink, but innovate. Fitting in an approach that has made the Dutch sector a leader in the world", the jury stated.
Answers to society's wishes
With the Sphere, Lely won the final round of the Agribusiness Award as one of the five candidates. What was striking about the selection of the five finalists was that they not only strive for a better return for the agricultural business, but also all respond to social wishes. For example, the innovations of three candidates are specifically aimed at reducing nitrogen emissions from dairy farms. Next to Lely with the Lely Sphere, these are JOZ bv. with the nitrogen cracker Gazoo and Hanskamp bv. with the Cowtoilet.